Justin Chapman | Echo
Taylor's women's soccer team has no patience when it comes to being successful. The Trojans started out the season with three victories in the first four games. This week, they were moved up to No. 17 in the national poll.
The team started the season at No. 22 and proved they deserve to be ranked higher. Additionally, junior Bailey Zehr was named Crossroads League Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week.
The Trojans' latest victory entailed a 3-1 rout of Campbellsville. Zehr scored within the first two minutes of the first half. In the second half, the Trojans wasted no time, scoring two goals in the first six minutes. On defense, Taylor held Campbellsville scoreless for 63 minutes until they scored their lone goal.
"Something that's helped us a lot is the depth of our defense," sophomore Hannah Waltz said. "We lost two key players, but we also have people that could jump in and definitely fill in. We have a freshman, Reyna (Williams), that's just been lights out."
Despite the Campbellsville game being the second game in two days for Taylor, the team still held their ground. According to senior Megan Kammer, back-to-back game days took a toll on their bodies.
However, one of the Trojans strengths thus far is defense. In the first four games, the Trojans allowed three total goals. This allowed the offense to generate additional shot attempts. For instance, against Campbellsville, the Trojans outshot Tigers 17-6.
"When the offense gets off to a quick start, the defense gets intense," said head coach Scott Stan. "They're all very good players back there, but the fact that they don't have to think 'if we ever get scored on we're going to lose.' They can just go, 'Hey we've got this,' and it actually allows them to play better because there's not stress about every play. They're just much more confident in what they can do."
Even so, Waltz and Kammer both feel as if they need to improve on their defense. They realize the offense has been benefiting from the defense, but want to continue to improve and continue to help the offense.
Columbia ended Taylor's perfect season Wednesday, as the Trojans went down 1-0. This was the first game this season where the Trojans failed to score a goal.
Columbia is No. 5 in the nation, and Taylor was the underdog in this matchup. The Trojans still managed to outshoot them 10-9. Stan feels frustrated Taylor did not get the results they wanted, since he knows the Trojans are as good as the Cougars.
During the game on Wednesday, he never perceived Columbia as being overwhelmingly better than Taylor. In his eyes, there is no separation between Columbia and Taylor.
The Trojans will bounce back to play Indiana Tech today at Turner Stadium. This game will be the fourth game in a row they play at home. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"